Tuesday, April 26, 1983

From the divine

At teatime I went with Lindsey and Susie to see a play, From the Divine, by the feminist Erinyes theatre company upstairs in the Contemplation Center. We met Pete and Mo in the Town and Gown beforehand.

The play was about a theatre company entertaining troops and officers during the war. There were just three actresses: a ventriloquist’s doll played the male part. Many of the jokes made pointed references to male domination of society (‘Love and Marriage go together like a gun and carriage’)  and I felt odd sitting there, the object of witty female scrutiny and criticism.

It’s odd too that rolled up into my outlook and my behaviour are conditioned responses and reactions to women that can be construed as ‘sexist.’ It seems incredible to me that I can be totally unconscious of this simply because of society’s conditioning and the way I’ve been brought up. It gives me a lot to think about.

I walked back to the bar with Lindsey: she’d been quite inflamed by watching this, and she berated we males for our campus sexism. She thinks Barry, for all his revolutionary talk, is fairly sexist in his attitude whereas Gareth is “non-sexist” in his. So I asked her and Susie to tell me, objectively and without any regard for hurting my feelings or whatever, if they thought I was sexist. Susie said no, but Lindsey didn’t seem quite so sure.

I thought of Mum and Dad and how when I’m at home I’m quite willing to let Mum do all the cooking and the washing up after she’s worked eight hours a day, and also about Dad’s recent comment (“I like to see a girl looking feminine in a blouse, nice dress and stockings”). This seems almost pathetic it is so classically conditioned. 

We got back to Wollstonecraft Hall to find Gareth back after his few weeks in Berlin: he spent most of his time getting drunk and stoned, and everyone crowded into his room to listen to his stories, drink the duty free wine he’d brought back with him and smoke dope.

While we were at the play, Rowan, Barry, Russ and co. went to Biko’s and got embroiled in a political argument which degenerated into a personal slanging match. Somehow, somewhere, my name cropped up and Russ, full of shit as usual, egged Rowan into believing I had five-and-a-half thousand pounds in the bank. When I was in the kitchen she brought it up in a snide, insinuating way.

I fell into usual dark silence and twisted anxieties. Lindsey told me “not to take it to heart” and asked me to go with her into Gareth’s room as she didn’t want to go in alone. I did so but felt apart from all the reeling and talk. Barry was pissed out of his skull, staggering and lurching about with an insane grin on his face.

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